…Says, ‘recent global power grab is an abuse of international law’
The coalition against the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR) and Equity International Initiative (EII) has called on President Bola Tinubu to reject the proposed new amendments to the WHO’s health regulations.
“We ask well-meaning Nigerians to speak up so as to ensure that our national sovereignty is protected by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This letter rejecting the IHR amendments needs to be received by the WHO before Dec. 1, 2023,” Obielumani Ideh, representing the coalition, said during a press conference held in Lagos on Monday, November 6, 2023.
Tagged ‘The Dangers of the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR)’, the coalition emphasised on “protecting our freedoms and safety.”
It posited that the rule-by-emergency law could then easily become a new normal, while the Nigerian Constitution becomes an exception.
“These edicts will be enforced by nations who will implement them forcibly on their citizens and institutions. Even more sinister is the authorisation of censorship as the WHO will be the only designated source of health information.
“In effect, these amendments give the WHO the power to, at any time, suspend our Constitutions and our human rights in international law in the name of an actual or potential health event,” Ideh said.
She further said that how long such emergency measures would be in place would also be decided by the WHO.
According to her, “The recent global power grab by the WHO is an abuse of international law that will harm the health, economy, and national sovereignty of Nigeria and other developing nations.
“Join us as we call on President Tinubu to write to the WHO, rejecting the amendments to the IHR, and stop the negotiations on Nigeria’s behalf.”
According to the coalition, under Article 61 of the IHR, each and every member nation has the authority to reject any or all of the amendments. However, the rejection must be communicated with the WHO latest 30 November, 2023.
“As such, the WHO can describe anything as a threat and make laws/interventions which will be declared essential to dealing with these threats,” she said.
The coalition said that the amendment would include medicines to be given, whether people can travel, what travel documents will be acceptable, among other things.
While admitting that the WHO’s primary mission was to promote health for all through global collaboration and coordination, it stated that the global body has been shifting away from its mandate since the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The WHO has instead been seeking ever greater power over the sovereignty of nations in the application of healthcare measures,” Ideh said.
According to her, the global body, rather than learning valuable lessons from the controversies and contradictions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, it is digging in, as it seeks to assert more control over the rights of nations in making free and independent determinations on the health of their citizens.